PORT Adelaide star Chad Wingard has hailed the effort of makeshift ruckman Jackson Trengove, following the Power’s 77-point thumping of the Brisbane Lions at Adelaide Oval on Sunday.
With Paddy Ryder suspended for the season and Matthew Lobbe out for three months with a knee injury, the Power was forced to give the rucking responsibility to Trengove.
The defender responded with a brilliant, albeit unorthodox, performance.
He was on the wrong end of a 51-14 hit-out discrepancy against Stefan Martin, but made up for what he lacked in the air with a stunning effort once the ball hit the deck.
Trengove finished with 25 disposals and 13 clearances, and on balance, clearly took the points over Martin.
"It really started with 'Jacko' in the ruck," Wingard said.
"Games can be won and lost in the ruck and he really stood up, and the midfield really played well."
Port’s ability to compete over the next three months without a recognised ruckman will be a talking point, but Wingard believes Trengove can continue to give the Power the contest it will need.
"We know he’s got a massive jump and he’s happy to play whatever role he needs to for the team," Wingard said.
"He did more than what he needed to do today and if he keeps playing like that we won’t want to take him out of the ruck."
Wingard returned to form on Sunday, finishing with three goals and producing some trademark pieces of brilliance.
He was part of a functioning forward line that produced 21 goals, and said the focus was on pressure and doing the small things well.
"We had a massive focus on pressure and our offence comes off that," he said.
"What really helped was the amount of entries that we had today, and then locking the ball in and shutting down the outlets.
"I’ve had a few injuries, it’s been a bit frustrating but I just tried to come in, not have a big game, and play my role and do what I can for the team."